How to Reinforce a Ceiling for a Chandelier
Chandeliers come with a ceiling brace, which anchors the chandelier to the wood joists above the ceiling. Without the brace, the weight of the chandelier would pull it from the ceiling, causing damage to the drywall or plaster and potentially breaking the chandelier. If you find that your chandelier did not come with a brace, consult your local home improvement or lighting store for a brace that is strong enough for the weight of your new chandelier.
Turn off the electricity to the room where you plan to install the chandelier, using the house’s electrical breaker panel. Plug in and turn on a lamp in the room, helping you monitor if the electricity to the room is suddenly restored.
Remove the screws holding the old light fixture to the ceiling, and then pull down the light fixture to expose the wiring. Turn the plastic wire nuts counterclockwise from the wire connections, and then twist the wire connections counterclockwise until they come apart as well.
Back out any screws holding the old light fixture’s electrical box in place, and then pull the box out of the ceiling. Loosen the screws that hold the electrical wire to the box. If the electrical box was anchored to a skinny metal bar, cut through the bar with a close-quarters hacksaw, and then remove the bar’s two pieces from the ceiling.
Rotate the new chandelier brace’s bar clockwise until the brace is as short as possible. Insert the bar into the ceiling through the existing hole. Position the bar so both set of feet sit on top of the ceiling, and then turn the brace’s bar counterclockwise until the ends of the bars press firmly against the joists in the ceiling.
Pop out one of the doors on the side of the new chandelier’s electrical box, using a flat-head screwdriver. Feed about 6 inches of the electrical wiring from the ceiling into the electrical box through the door, and then tighten the screws inside the box to hold the wire in place.
Insert the new electrical box into the opening in the ceiling. Line up the screw holes in the new box with the screw holes in the brace, and then drive screws into the box and brace to hold it into place. Twist the like-colored wires from the chandelier and ceiling together, and then twist the screw nuts over the wire connections. Drive the screws through the domed piece of the chandelier and into the screw holes in the electrical box. Restore the electricity to the room using the house’s electrical breaker panel.
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